2008 CHL Import Draft report
Notes from the annual junior leagues' Import Draft
Thursday was draft time again. After the NHL Entry Draft, the Canadian Hockey League, the union of the most important American junior leagues, has had its team to choose the import players who will be likely to spend the next season playing in the Quebec Major Junior, Ontario or Western Hockey League.
While the last few seasons have seen an exodus of Czech and Slovak players, this year things went differently as the first five selections has been spent on Russian players, like never before. Also Belarusians have been took into deep consideration as they ended the draft with xyz players picked.
Nikita Filatov, who was chosen sixth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets less than week ago, was the first name called (Sudbury Wolves, OHL), followed by Dmitri Kulikov (Drummondville Voltigeurs, QMJHL), Maksim Trunev (Portland Winter Hawks, WHL), Edgar Rybakov (Erie Otters, OHL) and Vyacheslav Voinov (Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL). Last year’s draft seen a top five made up of two Czechs, one Swiss, one Swede and one Dane. Two years ago, three Czechs, one Latvian and one Swede.
With the sixth selection the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL took Finn left defender Tommi Kivistö, a product of Helsingin Jokerit’s system. 2007 import draft had to wait up to the thirteen overall pick to see the first Finn player, big-shooted Jyri Niemi, chosen by the Saskatoon Blades, who spent the last season there and was then drafted by the New York Islanders in the last weekend.
Andrei Loktionov (picked up by Los Angeles Saturday) was drafted by OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, then it was the turn of the Czech Republic as Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL spent the eighth call on big sized right winger Andrej Nestrasil from HC Slavia Prague. As a comparison let’s remember that Czechs had six out of the last seven first overall picks.
Ninth and tenth picks were other first timers: Prince George Cougars selected German junior league’s top scorer Jerome Flaake, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, and Windsor Spitfires decided to grab blue chip prospect Richard Panik from Slovakia.
It's needed to browse down to the forteenth pick to see the first Swede name, Simon Olsson, drafted by the P.E.I. Rocket out of USHL's Chicago Steel.
Luca Cunti was taken with the seventeenth overall pick, making it the first Swiss to be chosen. Probably he wants to play Major Junior hockey after his USHL experience. Not much later sized Sergei Sheleg has became the first drafted Belarusian, at 22.
As said, three players went drafted out of non-elite nations. Despite Kazakhstan has a strong program, its players rarely play outside of the former-Soviet countries. Things can slightly change after Ottawa 67's claimed the quick winger Yakov Vorobiev with the 70th overall pick.
Italian Marco Insam was re-drafted by Niagara with the 100th pick, after being drafted and cut in the training camp with Regina Pats last season.
Mitch Morgan is likely to represent Belgium in the CHL as he has been drafted by QMJHL’s Val d’Or Foreurs. He spent the last season with in the Kolner Haie organization.
On a side note, the Bashkirov twins will come back in Canada after the season spent in Quebec two years ago. Ruslan was chosen by Peterborough, while Roman by Sarnia.
It’s still unclear which players will decide to try the jump overseas and if they eventually can pass through all the cuts.
|1||Nikita Filatov||Sudbury Wolves||OHL|
|2||Dmitry Kulikov||Drummondville Voltigeurs||QMJHL|
|3||Maksim Trunev||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL|
|4||Edgar Rybakov||Erie Otters||OHL|
|5||Vyacheslav Voinov||Moncton Wildcats||QMJHL|
|6||Tommi Kivistö||Red Deer Rebels||WHL|
|7||Andrei Loktionov||Windsor Spitfires||OHL|
|8||Andrej Nestrasil||Victoriaville Tigres||QMJHL|
|9||Jerome Flaake||Prince George Cougars||WHL|
|10||Richard Panik||Windsor Spitfires||OHL|
|11||Dmitri Kostromitin||Montreal Juniors||QMJHL|
|12||Robin Soudek||Edmonton Oil Kings||WHL|
|13||Adam Sedlak||Peterborough Petes||OHL|
|14||Simon Olsson||P.E.I. Rocket||QMJHL|
|15||Tomas Kundratek||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL|
|16||William Wallen||Mississauga St. Michael's Majors||OHL|
|17||Luca Cunti||Rimouski Oceanic||QMJHL|
|18||Dalibor Bortnak||Kamloops Blazers||WHL|
|19||Tomas Rachunek||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL|
|20||Toni Ritter||Montreal Juniors||QMJHL|
|21||Alexander Viklund||Chilliwack Bruins||WHL|
|22||Sergei Sheleg||Sudbury Wolves||OHL|
|23||Jan Stransky||Gatineau Olympiques||QMJHL|
|24||Stepan Novotny||Kelowna Rockets||WHL|
|25||Phillip Grubauer||Belleville Bulls||OHL|
|26||Dmitri Kugryshev||Quebec Remparts||QMJHL|
|27||Tomas Hricina||Regina Pats||WHL|
|28||Jakub Svoboda||Saginaw Spirit||OHL|
|29||Filip Janosik||Lewiston MAINEiacs||QMJHL|
|30||Michal Siska||Kamloops Blazers||WHL|
|31||Miroslav Preisinger||Sarnia Sting||OHL|
|32||Michal Hlinka||Chicoutimi Sagueneens||QMJHL|
|33||Maksim Mayorov||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL|
|34||Robert Kousal||Oshawa Generals||OHL|
|35||Artem Demkov||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles||QMJHL|
|36||Oliver Jokel||Swift Current Broncos||WHL|
|37||Sergei Korostin||London Knights||OHL|
|38||Igor Golovkov||Drummondville Voltigeurs||QMJHL|
|39||Kirill Gotovets||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL|
|40||Evgeny Grachev||Brampton Battalion||OHL|
|41||Tomas Petracek||Rimouski Oceanic||QMJHL|
|42||Stefan Warg||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|43||Maximilian Engelbrecht||Niagara IceDogs||OHL|
|44||Alexander Fomin||Moncton Wildcats||QMJHL|
|45||Dominik Pacovsky||Kootenay Ice||WHL|
|46||Evgeny Molotilov||Guelph Storm||OHL|
|47||Sergey Ostapchuk||Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||QMJHL|
|48||Igor Revenko||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL|
|49||Richard Jarusek||Saginaw Spirit||OHL|
|50||Radovan Pulis||Acadie-Bathurst Titans||QMJHL|
|51||Mikhail Fisenko||Vancouver Giants||WHL|
|52||Kirill Polozov||Barrie Colts||OHL|
|53||Sergei Plotnikov||Chicoutimi Sagueneens||QMJHL|
|54||Ales Frieb||Kootenay Ice||WHL|
|55||Jan Latal||Plymouth Whalers||OHL|
|56||Edgars Ulescenko||Calgary Hitmen||WHL|
|57||Simon Grønvaldt||Kitchener Rangers||OHL|
|58||Andrej Kudrna||Vancouver Giants||WHL|
|59||Lukas Matejka||Kelowna Rockets||WHL|
|60||Bogdan Kiselevich||Tri-City Americans||WHL|
|61||Erik Karlsson||Mississauga St. Michael's Majors||OHL|
|65||Dominik Schlumpf||Shawinigan Cataractes||QMJHL|
|66||Andrej Palat||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|68||Roberts Bukarts||Victoriaville Tigre||QMJHL|
|69||Marek Viedensky||Prince George Cougars||WHL|
|70||Yakov Vorobiev||Ottawa 67's||OHL|
|71||Mitch Morgan||Val-d-Or Foreurs||QMJHL|
|73||Ruslan Bashkirov||Peterborough Petes||OHL|
|75||Zdenek Okal||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL|
|77||Jonathan Sääf||Val-d'Or Foreurs||QMJHL|
|91||Roman Bashkirov||Sarnia Sting||OHL|
|100||Marco Insam||Niagara IceDogs||OHL|
|106||Alexander Denezhkin||Oshawa Generals||OHL|
Story added on 27th June 2008 at 06:15 GMT
Story submitted by: Alessandro Seren Rosso.